What You Can and Cannot Flush

Toilet clogs are a huge annoyance and can lead to costly repairs. They are messy and can also damage your floors, pipes, and home furnishings. We’ve seen that a lot of the clogs that affect a toilet are from people flushing things that should not go down the drain. So we’ve put together this top list of the most common things we find clogging a toilet that shouldn’t have been in there to begin with.

What Can Be Flushed?

Just because something CAN flush down the toilet doesn’t mean it should. The reality is that only two things should be flushed down the toilet–human waste and toilet paper. In actuality, even those two items can be problematic when flushed in bulk.

What Should Not be Flushed?
The difficult thing about what is and isn’t flushable is that many things that shouldn’t be flushed don’t cause an immedate problem, but they build up over time or increase your risk of a problem with every flush. Here are some of the most common items that clog a toilet.

Tampons – Tampons would seem that they could be flushable, and in fact many people do it out of convenience or embarrassment. However, they are a huge clog hazard. They are designed to be durable and to absorb, so they do not interact well when flushed. This is one reason why there should always be a trashcan available for disposal, especially in commercial buildings.

Paper Towels – Though they seem similar to toilet paper, they are designed to be very different. Paper towels are designed to remain strong and intact when wet, while toilet paper is meant to dissolve in water.
“Flushable” Wipes – So-called flushable wipes are not actually safe to flush. These wipes, as well as baby wipes, are bad for your plumbing and the sewer system. The reason is that they are far too strong to dissolve in water, so they remain intact long after use. Even if the packaging says they are flushable, they are not.

Q-Tips – These seem small and harmless, but when they get flushed, they can get caught sideways and create a clog in the line. Even if you don’t notice the issue at first, they may build up and cause problems over time.

Dental Floss – Dental floss can also get caught in the plumbing and cause backups. Floss should always be thrown away, rather than flushed.

If you have any problems or concerns with your residential plumbing, J.W. Freeman Plumbing can help. We have built our company on a reputation of reliability and honesty, so no matter what kind of plumbing problem you’re facing, we’ll see you through it.

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